Club EvMed: Survival of the Friendliest

Club EvMed is a web series launched in April 2020 to keep the evolutionary medicine community connected during a time of pandemic-related social distancing. These regularly-held virtual meetings are styled around the idea of a journal club, with a different topic and discussion leader each time. Club EvMed is organized by the International Society for Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health (ISEMPH) and five evolutionary medicine centers: the Triangle Center for Evolutionary Medicine (TriCEM), the UCLA Evolutionary Medicine Interdisciplinary Center, the ASU Center for Evolution and Medicine, the Pittsburgh Center for Evolutionary Biology and Medicine, and the University of Zurich Institute of Evolutionary Medicine.

This week’s Club EvMed is “Survival of the Friendliest.” Join us on Tuesday, October 13th at 12pm EDT for a conversation with Brian Hare, Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University. The only way to understand what it is to be human is to know what it is like to be not human. In this talk we will explore the minds of our closest relatives, bonobos and chimpanzees, and dogs — our closest friend. We will look at how these animals help us understand what makes us human, and how our minds came to be. We will arrive at the idea that it was friendliness that powerfully shaped both the bodies and minds of bonobos and dogs during their evolution. We will then consider if our own species evolved due to selection for friendliness. We will argue that comparing our friendly nature to other animals solves the paradox of human kindness and cruelty and points to the need for cross-group friendships to encourage a friendlier future. These ideas are explored in Hare’s new book, “Survival of the Friendliest: Understanding Our Origins and Rediscovering Our Common Humanity.” Sign up here for the meeting link:–vrDwrGNA9I7X1j2DDjf1lU81393tW.

For a full list of upcoming speakers, archived recordings of previous meetings, and to sign up for our email list so you never miss a meeting, visit the Club EvMed website at